Misbah soothes Pakistan nerves
Misbah-ul-Haq’s second half-century of the match helped Pakistan avoid defeat in the second Test and secure a series draw with South Africa.
The newly-installed captain came to the crease with Pakistan 66 for three, having lost three wickets without addition to the score in the space of eight balls in Abu Dhabi.
However, he made a composed unbeaten 58 and Azhar Ali 28 not out off 135 deliveries to earn Pakistan a draw which left the series shared at 0-0, despite South Africa’s dominance.
Acting South Africa captain Jacques Kallis shook hands with Misbah with Pakistan - set a notional 354 to win - 153 for three and 15 overs remaining in the day.
Charged with batting out the day, Pakistan made a solid start to the fourth innings as Mohammad Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar shared an opening stand of 66.
However, Taufeeq was lbw pushing forward to Johan Botha’s arm ball before Paul Harris trapped Hafeez and Younus Khan in front in quick succession as panic seemingly set in the Pakistan ranks.
Although Azhar and Misbah survived several close shaves early in their innings - the skipper struggled in particular against Dale Steyn - they eased Pakistan’s nerves with some resolute defence.
Misbah went to his half-century - his third of the series - from 126 balls immediately after tea, but Azhar was content with just two fours in the 46 overs he spent at the crease.
“It was a good team effort and all the guys chipped in everywhere,” said Misbah.
“One thing we have been lacking in last two or three years has been consistency and I think in this series all the guys just performed. That is why we have got this result.”
Kallis added: “It's been a frustrating two Test matches. Here, I think the boys stuck to their task pretty well.
“We've got a big series coming up against India and if we can put in performances like today, I think the results will definitely come our way.”